Sequential Order and Plasticity in Early Psychological Development

  • J. McVicker Hunt
Part of the Topicsin Cognitive Development book series (TOPCOGDEV)


The philosophers of nature were exceedingly slow to recognize that organisms go through a series of changes in anatomical substance and structure during their embryonic development. The ancient aphorism that “hair cannot come from not-hair,” epitomizing the principle that no substance or structure can come from a substance or structure of a different nature, dominated human thought from the days of ancient Greece to nearly modern times. Over 2,000 years passed from the time of Aristotle’s first observations of some of the epigenetic changes that occur in chick embryos until Casper Friedrich Wolff (1759, 1768) detailed the transformations in the circulatory system and the intestine of chick embryos so clearly that he convinced at least those informed of biological matters, brought an end to the doctrine of preformationism, and established recognition of the epigenetic nature of embryonic development.


Intrinsic Motivation Ordinal Scale Psychological Development Successive Level Object Permanence 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. McVicker Hunt
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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